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Full text of "NightRider"

2lS

his mother, his father, relathes, servants whose names and
faces he had forgotten, people dead before he was born; and
thought, I am not like any of them. He turned abruptly
from the window. He saw, on the marble-topped table, the
lamp. The bowl was dry, the wick charred down, and the
chimney streaked with smoke. He had fallen asleep without
blowing it out; it had burned out during the night or, perhaps,
even after dawn,

May, he learned, had left very early. She had sent the cook
down to tell Old Mac to hitch up the buggy and bring it
round. Then she had gone away in the buggy, with the old
negro man driving. About ten-thirty Mr. Munn, walking hi
the front yard, had seen the buggy slowly approaching up the
drive. He had waited at the gate, but the old negro man,
hunched forward over the reins and apparently not seeing
him, had gone on past. Mr. Munn had walked back to the
stable. Upon his approach, the negro seemed to be entirely
engaged in fumbling with a stubborn piece of harness.

"Where did you go?" Mr. Munn had demanded.

The negro had kept on fumbling with the harness strap.

" Well/1 Mr. Munn had insisted, " answer me."

"Fse gonna answer you, Misser Perse," the old man had
said, "soon ez I kin git shet of this-here. Hit looks lak my
jints is gitten so bad I caint do nuthen. Now looks lak you'd
say hot weather better'n cold weather. But naw. Here 'tis,
hot weather-----"

"Where did you go?" Mr. Munn had asked.

Without raising his eyes from the harness strap, the negro
man had answered, " Over to her folks' place."

"Her aunt's place, Miss Burnham's?"

The negro man had nodded, still fumbling with the strap.
Mr. Munn had turned on his heel and gone back to the house.

Two days later the man from the Burnham place had come,
driving Miss Burnhanfs surrey, to ask for May's clothes and
things. Mr. Munn had been there at the time. He had stood
in the middle of the floor of the big room upstairs while the
cook put May's things into suitcases and boxes. He had